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so Jango has been on raw for about a month and a half now.. he's not fully raw, he's high quality canned in the morning, and raw at night, and feeling pretty good about the whole diet. he seems to have TONS of energy right after eating his meat, and rockets around like a tiny maniac for a good half hour after every dinner! very cute!

but he chokes. ALL THE TIME. I have to sit there and watch him eat to make sure he isn't going to die (which is actually a big part of the canned in the morning, as I don't have time to watch him eat in the am.) he isn't so bad with just pure meat, but the main problem is the meat with the bones in. I'm using Quail, which I found at superstore (might be a canadian thing, but it's sort of a warehouse style grocery store) frozen, a pack of 6 for just under $8. not bad I thought, especially for not having to make a trip to a chinese supermarket or something, and I'm more comfortable with the tiny size than I have been with any kind of chicken bones, including CGH, which seem kinda big to me!

I can tell when he's going to choke too, I can see him chewing, and he's getting tired of chewing, and he decides he'll just try to swallow everything that's left, and ALWAYS chokes. happens like 3 times during a half a quail.

he's always managed to cough it up pretty quickly, but this worries me.. and I always have to supervise him eating just in case I have to kitty heimlich.

anyone had this situation, or have any thoughts on why my kitten seems to be such a lazy chewer?
 

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Everyday for one of my kitties. IMO cats are lazy creatures. If they think it can go down the hatch whole, they will attempt it. All four of my cats will swallow a whole neck every once in a while. But one tries it everyday and chokes on it 99% of the time. In the very beginning I was a little concerned, now its predictable and I don't care as much.
 

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I always stay around while my cats are eating, just in case, but cats and dogs vomit VERY easily, unlike human beings, for good reason. He will eventually learn to chew longer, and his jaws will get stronger. If you get him off the canned and onto real meat 100% his jaws will get stronger faster!
 

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This is an old post but my cat was choking for like two or three minutes today. And I was doing all kinds of things like slapping his back or rib cage and doing the heimlich maneuver. So when he stopped, I went to the emergency hospital and they said to never EVER feed him bones, even raw bones ever again. They told me cats have died due to choking. They also told me that the cat could be in so much distress that he/she will stop breathing because they lose oxygen supply. And then she said to not ever mess with a cat while he/she is choking because then the cat will panic more. She said instead to immediately grab the cat and drive it to an emergency hospital so they could sedate it and stuff. I got so scared :( Almost makes me want to not feed raw. And I didn't even cut the quail, I gave half of it whole.
 

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Oh how scary! :(

But I have to ask.. if he had choked on kibble, would you never feed it again because it could happen? Or would you chalk it up to bad luck and move on.

We feed 5 cats and two dogs raw, for about 3yrs now. Never had anyone choke bad enough they couldn't get it up themselves.. sure they've choked, but I never interfere and they hork it back up on their own within a moment or two. As scary as the first time was, I know that cats are built to do this.. no one would rush them to the E vet in the wild.. so they HAVE to have ways to deal with it. :)
 

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I hate to sound mean, but I think cats need to choke a little when eating bone. They have to learn to chew and use their jaw muscles. Choking is perfectly natural when transitioning over to raw because the cat is so used to eating kibble and having the pieces all perfectly out there for it to eat.

catlady, I hope you don't switch off of raw from this experience. Cats should be supervised during raw transition meals anyway, but don't pat the cat on the back, they have to do it on their own. And the choking should usually last only a few seconds. Any more than that though, ya, get some medical attention.

Both Harley and Pico have choked a bit when trying bone, but they were alright just a few minutes later. I was concerned but after reading some articles on a raw fed site, I realize that cats sometimes have to go through the choking process.
 

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catlady2010 said:
So when he stopped, I went to the emergency hospital and they said to never EVER feed him bones, even raw bones ever again. They told me cats have died due to choking. They also told me that the cat could be in so much distress that he/she will stop breathing because they lose oxygen supply.
Lord. One wonders what these vets think wild animals do. From the sound of it, they should all have been dead millenia ago. :roll:

Generally, if cats "choke" one of 2 things is happening:

(1) the bones that were fed were either too small (i.e., the owner cut the bone-in food up into little pieces, rather than letting the cat eat as he knows how) or too large (i.e., big pieces of bone too large for cats);

(2) the cat wasn't really choking but trying to puke up a piece that was too large. Cats are VERY good at vomiting -- there is a reason for that. Often novice raw feeders will bite off more than they can swallow, but since they are good at vomiting, they will puke it up and chew it better the second time around.

I'm not saying it's impossible for a cat to choke on bone -- of course it's possible. But as someone else said, it's also possible for a cat to choke on kibble (and actually more likely, since they were not designed to eat small dry pieces of biscuit).
 

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He just randomly started choking that day. He never choked before. It was like half a quail, I didn't cut it up. Anyway, it freaked me out. I still gave him quail again last night and he didn't choke.

So what do you do when the cat starts choking? Do you just leave them alone? I heard if you mess with them that will cause them to stress out more. How long before you rush them to the emergency hospital? I heard about the technique where you grab them by their hind legs, turn them upside down so their head is facing the ground and gently hit them on the side (but not too hard).
 

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I just doubt the cat was really choking. If he was, he'd have been dead long b/f you got to the vet--choking means that no air is getting in b/c the trachea is blocked. He was trying to get the food up or down the esophagus, which can be difficult but isn't choking. More than likely he learned and is now chewing off the correct sized pieces.
 

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My cats have never choked that I'm aware of (and I do supervise them - but only because, given half a chance, the faster eaters will move over to the other plates and start chowing down on their neighbor's food). I have, however, seen my laziest cat, Meghan, repeatedly try to swallow meat chunks that are just too big to go down. She invariably horks 'em up, chews them in half (like she should have the first time 'round) and finishes her meals normally.

I don't listen to vets with wild claims that the very foods an animal evolved to eat are inimical to said animals welfare - it just totally defies logic. Not to mention, of course, the nutritional training vets receive via the PFI vs. the extensive research I have put into educating myself on the well-known (but completely ignored by the PFI) needs of an obligate carnivore. :mrgreen:
 

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Auntie Crazy said:
I don't listen to vets with wild claims that the very foods an animal evolved to eat are inimical to said animals welfare - it just totally defies logic. Not to mention, of course, the nutritional training vets receive via the PFI vs. the extensive research I have put into educating myself on the well-known (but completely ignored by the PFI) needs of an obligate carnivore. :mrgreen:
It just makes you go 8O , doesn't it?? I mean, how did cats and dogs (and panthers and wolves) SURVIVE for millenia before the miraculous Kibble was invented? :lol: It's just so absurd it's laughable.
 

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hoofmaiden said:
I just doubt the cat was really choking. If he was, he'd have been dead long b/f you got to the vet
Exactly... and this is scary to me :/ Is there anything we can do as pet owners to educate ourselves in such a way that we may be able to help our dear friends should the unthinkable happen? I somehow doubt the regular "heimlich maneuver" will work on a cat...
 

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tanyuh said:
Exactly... and this is scary to me :/ Is there anything we can do as pet owners to educate ourselves in such a way that we may be able to help our dear friends should the unthinkable happen? I somehow doubt the regular "heimlich maneuver" will work on a cat...
Sure it does. Just go easy.

Here's a video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmNl9X50jxk

That said, it is just NOT COMMON for dogs or cats to choke on real food. They have throats uniquely adapted to eating bone. They are far more likely to choke on non-food items they might eat (balls, toys, etc.).
 

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Cool, thanks for your response! We are really leaning toward trying a raw diet. We were feeding human-quality cat food that is made mostly of fish and feeding many different varieties, some of which are mixed with chicken or ham. (This was the best thing we could find in Europe). But for some reason, Whisky has started to refuse it. Perhaps he's just not a fishy cat? We have some prescription S/D food left over from when he was having problems with struvite crystals and he goes crazy for that :/ First ingredient though? "Cereals." Boo.

So, I'm going to do some more research about the exact meats to buy at the butcher. I've read through this forum and I haven't managed to find a definitive, easy menu plan but I'll look harder. I understand the ratio thing, but I'd like to know exactly what kinds of meat satisfy which requirements and how much in weight I will need to buy in order to cut it up only once per month. Any suggestions?

Also, do any of you give supplements? I purchased the book "Your Cat" as recommended by someone on the forum and the author says that she gives a supplement to her cats every day in addition to a raw diet. (Sorry, the book is in the bedroom with my sleeping-beauty boyfriend so I can't check the author nor check the name of the supplement :p)
 

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tanyuh said:
...I understand the ratio thing, but I'd like to know exactly what kinds of meat satisfy which requirements and how much in weight I will need to buy in order to cut it up only once per month. Any suggestions?

Also, do any of you give supplements?...
Any and all meat (heart is also considered a meat) satisfies the 80% meat requirement. Use the calculations in this thread and multiply by 4 to get the monthly total.

Generally speaking, supplements are not required with a frankenprey diet. Folks who feed ground diets often supplement with taurine and sometimes other stuff (any grinders out there?).

The closest I get to supplementing is to offer sardines once a week for the Omega content and crickets for variety and fun.
 

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OK so maybe some of you guys haven't seen your cats "choke" on food. But I have. And it's not a pleasant sight. It lasted for about two or three minutes and I was really scared. I tried the heimlich maneuver and it was not working. Some people say to not do anything. So all I asked was what should I do in that situation if it were to happen again? We all know that it is a possibility so why not address the issue? I saw it happen so I'm wondering what I should do the next time it happens again. Of course, I haven't stopped feeding raw to my cats since then because as you said that's what they're suppose to eat. There are no emergency hospitals in the wild.

Like I said, choking IS life threatening and it can happen. And since I saw it happening myself (I know what choking is and my cat WAS choking) I look out for it more now. It doesn't matter if it's rare or if you've never seen your cat choke. It does happen. So what do I do if it does? What would you do?
 

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catlady2010 said:
OK so maybe some of you guys haven't seen your cats "choke" on food. But I have. And it's not a pleasant sight. It lasted for about two or three minutes and I was really scared. I tried the heimlich maneuver and it was not working. Some people say to not do anything. So all I asked was what should I do in that situation if it were to happen again? We all know that it is a possibility so why not address the issue? I saw it happen so I'm wondering what I should do the next time it happens again. Of course, I haven't stopped feeding raw to my cats since then because as you said that's what they're suppose to eat. There are no emergency hospitals in the wild.

Like I said, choking IS life threatening and it can happen. And since I saw it happening myself (I know what choking is and my cat WAS choking) I look out for it more now. It doesn't matter if it's rare or if you've never seen your cat choke. It does happen. So what do I do if it does? What would you do?
I don't think anyone is hiding from the issue, Catlady2010; in fact, several experienced raw-feeders have responded in this thread outlining both our experiences and our recommendations.

It's fairly common for cats to be lazy and try to swallow mouthfuls that are too big to go down. They're not choking in the sense that the food is blocking their windpipe, they simply can't swallow what they're attempting to. It's best to let the cat be, as they're pretty good about bringing up food items on their own (sometimes too good, but that's a topic for another day :lol: ).

What it seems like you want us to answer is a hypothetical "If the cat can't bring the food up on his or her own, then what?"

I've never seen, heard, or read about such a scenario, so I, personally can't answer that. I'm sure anything's possible, but I'd think such an occurrence would be exceedingly rare.

Anyone?
 

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Thanks Auntie Crazy. Yeah I figured you just leave them alone and if they continue you rush them to the hospital because there's nothing you can really do. But I was still wondering if you guys knew of any better alternatives. In any case, it only happened once since I started feeding raw in February or March so I'm not that concerned. Just hoping I never have to see that again, sigh. :?
 

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Honestly, cats are probably MORE likely to choke on kibble (and trust me--many DO!). They aren't set up to eat tiny hard pieces of food, and if one accidentally goes down the wrong way, it's not pretty (we saw a fair number of these when I worked for vets). The bigger pieces of meat/bone that cats swallow are unlikely to go down the trachea and they can get them back up if they are too big b/c, unlike humans, cats and dogs are set up to eat this way so they can get food back up more easily than we can. Look at how easy it is for cats/dogs to vomit -- humans only do it if we feel very sick, but cats and dogs can and will do it at the drop of a hat. Different systems!
 
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